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How You Can Support Your Muslim Colleagues at Work During Ramadan

By Nour Abdelwahab, Associate, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

April 5, 2022 · 3 min read

This past weekend marked the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. A time of spiritual renewal and purposeful living, Ramadan is observed by a large and diverse global community of Muslims, who commemorate the revelation of the Quran through increased prayer, self-reflection, charitable acts, and gatherings with friends and family. In 2022, Ramadan falls from April 2 to May 2. As you may know, many (but not all!) of your Muslim friends and colleagues will fast from sunrise through sunset throughout this time. Here are some ways to mindfully interact with and support them.

1. Wish your friends and colleagues.

It’s appropriate and appreciated to wish Muslims a blessed Ramadan. Common phrases are Ramadan Kareem! and Ramadan Mubarak!, though any heartfelt words will resonate just as much.

On Monday, May 2, 2022, Muslims will celebrate the end of Ramadan with a holiday called Eid-ul Fitr. Your Muslim colleagues may request the day off for community prayers and celebrations. You can wish them Eid Mubarak!

2. Allow for flexibility.

Though not all Muslims fast, especially those who are ill, elderly, menstruating, traveling, many do.

Particularly at the beginning of the month, Muslims who are fasting may be acclimating to new sleeping schedules, waking up as early as 3am for a pre-sunrise meal. Some may be carving out time for prayer throughout the day, while others may be committing to charitable endeavors or community prayer and gatherings in the evenings.

Thoughtful support during this time can look like refraining from scheduling lunches, coffee chats, or office potlucks and granting your Muslim colleagues the flexibility to manage their responsibilities according to their schedules.

3. Learn more.

Acknowledgment and compassion are paramount to building an inclusive work culture, and curiosity can strengthen your relationships. We invite you to share in the spirit of Ramadan by learning more.

Feel free to ask your Muslim friends and colleagues questions, especially as individuals experience this month in their own ways.


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